Whether you’re starting a new accounting practice or working on a marketing plan for a company that has been around a while, one thing is certain: You need to focus on marketing online. According to statistics from Small Business Community, over 2.6 billion local searches are carried out every year. People aren’t using the phone book much these days, which means your business needs to have a strong online presence if you expect to compete.
1. Recognize the Need for Marketing
This may seem obvious, but many accounting practices don’t do much marketing. Perhaps the owners assume that clients will simply find their practice when they have the need for an accountant. This is probably true. Prospective clients will find accounting firms, but will they find yours? Since so few firms have hired professionals dedicated to marketing, the one with the best marketing strategies will most likely get the majority of the new clients in the area. If you can’t afford to hire a full-time marketing coordinator for your practice, don’t worry. Even a part-time effort can make a huge difference.
2. Have Clear Goals and a Good Plan
Whether or not you hire a marketing coordinator, it’s important that your entire team be on the same page. It’s a good idea to have clear goals, such as increasing the number of clients you serve by 50 percent or bringing in an additional $20,000 by the end of the year. When your goals are clear, you can come up with a plan to accomplish them. Once this happens, it’s crucial to remain consistent. It takes time to see how a marketing plan will work. Don’t feel tempted to allow your efforts to slide during the busy season, or you might find yourself without any clients a few months later.
3. Be Smart With Your Budget
Many business owners make the mistake of rushing into a marketing strategy because it looks good at first glance. The reasons why are obvious. You’re busy being an accountant, and marketing isn’t really your thing, so why would you want to put a lot of thought into it? Unfortunately, making hasty decisions is never a good thing, especially when those decisions could cost you. Always take the time to carefully consider how marketing will fit into your budget.
4. Utilize Social Media
If your practice is running on a limited budget, social media will be your best friend. While some people do choose to spend money to market on websites like Twitter and Facebook, the most effective strategies for utilizing these websites are free. The purpose of having a presence on these websites is to show off your company and let the world know what you have to offer. Keep your posts short and sweet, and make an effort to show you care when connecting to potential clients. If you can come across as a human being versus an advertising bot, your results will be much more positive.
5. Host Events
One of the best ways to market your practice is to plan and host events in your local community. There are practically endless possibilities, such as charity dinners, golf tournaments and business seminars. It doesn’t matter whether 20 or 200 people show up. What counts is making genuine connections with the people in your local area.
Marketing your accounting firm won’t be easy. You will most likely be competing with other practices in the area, which means you will need to go above and beyond if you want to stand out. Don’t give up if you don’t see results at first. Commit to your marketing plan and do everything you can to stay positive, and you will soon start getting more clients.